VIU Milner Gardens and Woodland

Get Involved as a Volunteer

Join our dedicated team of volunteers at Milner Gardens & Woodland!

Milner's flexible volunteer program can fit into anyone's schedule, and offers a wide range of positions to suit all kinds of skills and interests. Volunteering is an excellent opportunity to meet new people, learn new skills and to participate in making Milner Gardens & Woodland a world-class venue.

Milner Gardens & Woodland volunteers will receive orientation, hands-on training, horticultural knowledge, invitations to volunteer-only events and courses, the satisfaction of being part of creating an exciting community-oriented project, and of course, you will have our undying gratitude!

Become a volunteer

Complete a Volunteer Application Form. See volunteer positions below.

Volunteer Appreciation BBQ

Volunteers at the annual Volunteer Appreciation BBQ

Volunteer Positions


Shoots with Roots Mentors

Shoots with Roots mentors assist the Shoots with Roots coordinator with school visits to Milner Gardens by accompanying school groups and helping children with activities, handing out equipment, and gently reinforcing expectations. This volunteer opportunity is available on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings during the school year with a minimum commitment of five volunteer shifts over the course of the year. Experience working with groups of young children is required, as is a criminal record check.


Tour guide and/or House Docent

Leads groups through the Gardens and Woodland identifying plants, birds and animal habitat; while telling of its history, connections to the Milner family, and relationship to Vancouver Island University and horticultural collection. Gives the public visiting Milner House information about the house and its history, as well as about the social history surrounding Milner Gardens & Woodland.



Creates floral bouquets for special events, weddings and the Camellia Tea Room using the Gardens resources.

Nursery and Plant Sales Assistant

Assists the Nursery Grower with the organization of the two annual plant sales. Cares for and sells plants in the sales area and interacts with the visiting public. Knowledge of plants is required, or a willingness to learn and research.

Seed Savers

Bagging, collecting, labeling and processing seeds for sale and for propagation of new plants in the Gardens. July to November only.

Trail and Woodland Steward

Walks the trails, paths, driveway and parking lots to ensure that they are clean (raking, sweeping and removing broken/fallen branches), signage is clean and all areas are presentable and safe for the public prior to opening in the morning. Please note working alone in the woodlands is required.

Wednesday Gardener

This group meets every Wednesday morning and assists the Grounds Keeper with many gardening tasks around the Gardens.

Visitor Services

Gift Shop Assistant

Interacts with visitors, transacts sales, and prices merchandise and uses creative talent to help display the gift and gardening items. Serves visitors refreshments and snacks, handles the payments and maintains the Gift Shop in a clean, welcoming and orderly fashion.

Shuttle Cart Driver

Transports visitors to/from the Welcome Interpretive Centre to the Gift Shop, Nursery and/or Milner House in a seven-passenger golf cart.

Welcome and Interpretive Centre Cashier

Welcomes visitors, takes admissions and/or checks membership status, promotes membership, answers the phone, informs the public about general information, policy and activities of the Gardens.

Camellia Tea Room

Kitchen Assistant

Makes tea/coffee, washes china and assists with kitchen preparations such as baking, cooking, jam making, food prep, laundry and cleaning.

Tea Room Server

Takes down orders, serves customers food and beverages, shares knowledge about the menu, house and gardens, and accepts cash and debit payments.


Facilities Maintenance and Construction

Performs painting and repairs to the Main House, Gardener’s Cottage, Gift Shop and Welcome Interpretive Centre, as well as mends fences, benches and more on the property.

Special Events

Christmas Lighters

Helps with site preparations for the annual Milner Christmas Magic. Work happens between October and December each year. Most of the work is at ground level and ladder climbing is not expected.

Fairy House Helpers

May to mid-June; collecting and organizing plant material for making fairy houses/scenes.

Garden Ambassador

Staffs our booth at various shows and markets, answers questions, provides membership and volunteer information, distributes brochures, and may also administer draws as well as sell seeds, plants and raffle tickets. Facilitates events by helping to organize and/or prepare the site for the event and clean up afterwards.

Parking Attendant/Traffic Controller

Directs traffic at the entrance and the parking lot during especially busy days (Mother's Day, statutory holidays, etc.) and special events.

Special Event Shuttle Cart Driver

Typically on-call as additional support for the regularly scheduled shuttle driver for special events, holidays and weddings.

Wedding Support

Participate in wedding events, assist in preparations before the event and clean up after the event. This may include meeting potential clients to discuss price/policy and show them the grounds.


Fund Development Committee

Helps to source and write grant applications and raise funds to support the general operation, growth and evolution of the Gardens.

Marketing Committee

Assists in the promotion of the Gardens through various activities including planning for and participation in community events, social media marketing and distribution of promotional material.

For more information, please contact Volunteer Services at: